PARIS: Neymar’s imminent record-shattering move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain was hailed as “the signing that changes the history of football” by French and Spanish media on Thursday.
Papers in both cities went to town on the Brazilian striker’s forecast 222 million euro ($260 million) transfer from the Catalan giants to PSG.
With Neymar expected in the French capital later Thursday Le Parisien devoted three-quarters of its front page to the man set to become the world’s most valuable player.
Under the headline “Neymar to PSG – the transfer of the century” was a photograph of the 25-year-old ‘photo-shopped’ sporting a PSG jersey.
“Neymar could be wearing the Parisian shirt from this week” read the caption, with the paper devoting its first five pages to his expected arrival.
French sports daily L’Equipe devoted their entire front page to a picture of Neymar behind the wheel of his car turning up to say goodbye to Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates on Wednesday morning, under the headline, “He’s arriving”.
In Spain, the coverage was sobre and reflective.
“The signing that changes the history of football,” wrote Marca, while for AS, with a nod to the extraordinary buy-out clause PSG’s Qatari-owners are set to settle, Neymar’s transfer was a case of “Pay and go”.
La Vanguardia dwelt on what his departure meant for Bacelona — “Neymar’s escape obliges Barca to reinvent themselves”.
In a dramatic 24 hours Neymar paid his farewell to Barca on Wednesday morning, before jumping on a private jet to Porto to reportedly undergo a medical before his expected arrival in the French capital on Thursday afternoon.
Neymar could be unveiled to fans on Saturday evening when PSG open their new Ligue 1 season against Amiens.
His transfer will more than double the current record set by Paul Pogba’s 105.2 million euro ($111 million) move to Manchester United last year.